Collapse to view only § 134.42 - Specific method may be required.

§ 134.41 - Methods and manner of marking.

(a) Suggested methods of marking. Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), requires that the marking of the country of origin be legible, indelible, and permanent. Definite methods of marking are prescribed only for articles provided for in § 134.43 and for articles which are the objects of special rulings by the Commissioner of Customs. As a general rule, marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in or etched; on earthenware or chinaware be glazed on in the process of firing; and on paper articles be imprinted.

(b) Degree of permanence and visibility. The degree of permanence should be at least sufficient to insure that in any reasonably foreseeable circumstance, the marking shall remain on the article (or its container) until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless it is deliberately removed. The marking must survive normal distribution and store handling. The ultimate purchaser in the United States must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

§ 134.42 - Specific method may be required.

Marking merchandise by specific methods, such as die stamping, cast-in-the-mold lettering, etching, or engraving, or cloth labels may be required by the Commissioner of Customs in accordance with section 304(a), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304(a)). Notices of such rulings shall be published in the Federal Register and the Customs Bulletin.

§ 134.43 - Methods of marking specific articles.

(a) Marking previously required by certain provisions of the Tariff Act of 1930. Except for goods of a NAFTA or USMCA country, articles of a class or kind listed below shall be marked legibly and conspicuously by die stamping, cast-in-the-mold lettering, etching (acid or electrolytic), engraving, or by means of metal plates which bear the prescribed marking and which are securely attached to the article in a conspicuous place by welding, screws, or rivets: knives, forks, steels, cleavers, clippers, shears, scissors, safety razors, blades for safety razors, surgical instruments, dental instruments, scientific and laboratory instruments, pliers, pincers, nippers and hinged hand tools for holding and splicing wire, vacuum containers, and parts of the above articles. Goods of a NAFTA or USMCA country shall be marked by any reasonable method which is legible, conspicuous and permanent as otherwise provided in this part.

(b) Watch, clock, and timing apparatus. The country of origin marking requirements on watches, clocks, and timing apparatus are intensive and require special methods. (See § 11.9 of this chapter and Chapter 91, Additional U.S. Note 4, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (19 U.S.C. 1202)).

(c) Native American-style jewelry - (1) Definition. For the purpose of this provision, Native American-style jewelry is jewelry which incorporates traditional Native American design motifs, materials and/or construction and therefore looks like, and could possibly be mistaken for, jewelry made by Native Americans.

(2) Method of marking. Except as provided in 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3) and in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, Native American-style jewelry must be indelibly marked with the country of origin by cutting, die-sinking, engraving, stamping, or some other permanent method. The indelible marking must appear legibly on the clasp or in some other conspicuous location, or alternatively, on a metal or plastic tag indelibly marked with the country of origin and permanently attached to the article.

(3) Exception. If it is technically or commercially infeasible to mark in the manner specified in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, or in the case of a good of a NAFTA or USMCA country, the article may be marked by means of a string tag or adhesive label securely affixed, or some other similar method.

(d) Native American-style arts and crafts - (1) Definition. For the purpose of this provision, Native American-style arts and crafts are arts and crafts, such as pottery, rugs, kachina dolls, baskets and beadwork, which incorporate traditional Native American design motifs, materials and/or construction and therefore look like, and could possibly be mistaken for, arts and crafts made by Native Americans.

(2) Method of Marking. Except as provided for in 19 U.S.C. 1304(a)(3) and § 134.32 of this part, Native American-style arts and crafts must be indelibly marked with the country of origin by means of cutting, die-sinking, engraving, stamping, or some other equally permanent method. On textile articles, such as rugs, a sewn in label is considered to be an equally permanent method.

(3) Exception. Where it is technically or commercially infeasible to mark in the manner specified in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, or in the case of a good of a NAFTA or USMCA country, the article may be marked by means of a string tag or adhesive label securely affixed, or some other similar method.

(e) Assembled articles. Where an article is produced as a result of an assembly operation and the country of origin of such article is determined under this chapter to be the country in which the article was finally assembled, such article may be marked, as appropriate, in a manner such as the following:

(1) Assembled in (country of final assembly);

(2) Assembled in (country of final assembly) from components of (name of country or countries of origin of all components); or

(3) Made in, or product of, (country of final assembly).

[T.D. 72-262, 37 FR 20318, Sept. 29, 1972, as amended by T.D. 89-1, 53 FR 51255, Dec. 21, 1988; T.D. 89-88, 54 FR 39524, Sept. 27, 1989; T.D. 90-75, 55 FR 38317, Sept. 18, 1990; T.D. 90-78, 55 FR 40166, Oct. 2, 1990; T.D. 94-1, 58 FR 69472, Dec. 30, 1993; T.D. 94-4, 59 FR 140, Jan. 3, 1994; T.D. 96-48, 61 FR 28980, June 6, 1996; CBP Dec. 21-10, 86 FR 35582, July 6, 2021]

§ 134.44 - Location and other acceptable methods of marking.

(a) Other acceptable methods. Except for articles described in § 134.43 of this part or the subject of a ruling by the Commissioner of Customs, any method of marking at any location insuring that country of origin will conspicuously appear on the article shall be acceptable. Such marking must be legible and sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article (or its container when the container and not the article is required to be marked) until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed.

(b) Articles marked with paper sticker labels. If paper sticker or pressure sensitive labels are used, they must be affixed in a conspicuous place and so securely that unless deliberately removed they will remain on the article while it is in storage or on display and until it is delivered to the ultimate purchaser.

(c) Articles marked with tags. When tags are used, they must be attached in a conspicuous place and in a manner which assures that unless deliberately removed they will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser.

[T.D. 72-262, 37 FR 20318, Sept. 29, 1972, as amended by T.D. 94-1, 58 FR 69472, Dec. 30, 1993]

§ 134.45 - Approved markings of country name.

(a) Language. (1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the markings required by this part shall include the full English name of the country of origin, unless another marking to indicate the English name of the country of origin is specifically authorized by the Commissioner of Customs. Notice of acceptable markings other than the full English name of the country of origin shall be published in the Federal Register and the Customs Bulletin.

(2) A good of a NAFTA or USMCA country may be marked with the name of the country of origin in English, French or Spanish.

(b) Abbreviations and variant spellings. Abbreviations which unmistakably indicate the name of a country, such as “Gt. Britain” for “Great Britain” or “Luxemb” and “Luxembg” for “Luxembourg” are acceptable. Variant spellings which clearly indicate the English name of the country of origin, such as “Brasil” for “Brazil” and “Italie” for “Italy,” are acceptable.

(c) Adjectival form. The adjectival form of the name of a country shall be accepted as a proper indication of the name of the country of origin of imported merchandise provided the adjectival form of the name does not appear with other words so as to refer to a kind or species of product. For example, such terms as “English walnuts” or “Brazil nuts” are unacceptable.

(d) Colonies, possessions, or protectorates. The name of a colony, possession, or protectorate outside the boundaries of the mother country shall usually be considered acceptable marking. When the Commissioner of Customs finds that the name is not sufficiently well known to insure that the ultimate purchasers will be fully informed of the country of origin, or where the name appearing alone may cause confusion, deception, or mistake, clarifying words shall be required. In such cases, the Commissioner of Customs shall specify in decisions published in the Federal Register and the Customs Bulletin the additional wording to be used in conjunction with the name of the colony, possession, or protectorate.

[T.D. 72-262, 37 FR 20318, Sept. 29, 1972, as amended by T.D. 94-1, 58 FR 69472, Dec. 30, 1993; CBP Dec. 21-10, 86 FR 35582, July 6, 2021]

§ 134.46 - Marking when name of country or locality other than country of origin appears.

In any case in which the words “United States,” or “American,” the letters “U.S.A.,” any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or location in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced appear on an imported article or its container, and those words, letters or names may mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin of the article, there shall appear legibly and permanently in close proximity to such words, letters or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by “Made in,” “Product of,” or other words of similar meaning.

[T.D. 97-72, 62 FR 44214, Aug. 20, 1997]

§ 134.47 - Souvenirs and articles marked with trademarks or trade names.

When as part of a trademark or trade name or as part of a souvenir marking, the name of a location in the United States or “United States” or “America” appear, the article shall be legibly, conspicuously, and permanently marked to indicate the name of the country of origin of the article preceded by “Made in,” “Product of,” or other similar words, in close proximity or in some other conspicuous location.